Audrey Young

Audrey Young is the New Zealand Herald’s political editor.

PM: Kiwis at the front of sale queue

Prime Minister John Key addresses the National Party conference. Photo / Michael Craig
Prime Minister John Key addresses the National Party conference. Photo / Michael Craig

Any New Zealander wanting to buy up to $2000 of shares in Mighty River Power when 49 per cent of it is floated will be guaranteed to buy them, Prime Minister John Key said today.

He also confirmed that the minimum purchase will be $1000.

In his speech to the National Party conference today, he said the share offer will be organised in such a way that New Zealanders were at the front of the queue for shares.

No guarantees would be offered to company buyers.

He expected around 85 per cent to 90 per cent public ownership of the former state-owned assets, of which 51 per cent will be Government owned.

"Those New Zealanders seeking up to $2000 worth of shares will not have their offer scaled back," he said. "In other words, New Zealanders applying for up to $2000 worth of shares are guaranteed to receive the shares they apply for.

"Big institutions aren't getting any guarantees, so this is another way we are putting everyday New Zealanders at the front of the queue," Mr Key added.

The definition of New Zealander for the purposes of the offer will be a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident ( or if it is a company, a declaration that is it majority New Zealand owned), and the person must have a valid IRD number, an New Zealand bank account and a New Zealand address.

The sale is scheduled to be completed by November unless it is delayed by court action.

Mr Key also said that a loyalty bonus of extra shares would be given to New Zealand investors who held on to their shares with details still to be worked through. But it would probably apply after three years.

A syndicate of share brokers and banks has been appointed to help with the marketing and sale of shares by New Zealanders.

People will be able to get a prospectus from over 500 bank branches throughout the country and there will be an 0800 number.

"We will make it as easy as we can for New Zealanders to take art in the share offers," Mr Key said.

The Prime Minister added that the partial share sale was "a win-win" and he stood totally behind the policy.

- NZ Herald

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